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UNWTO News

Green Hotel Investments to Restart Tourism

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Green Hotel Investments to Restart Tourism

Madrid, Spain, July 30, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Destination Capital (DC) has signed a collaborative arrangement with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) of the United Nations to support the rejuvenation of the hotel industry. The arrangement supports the relationship DC has with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to promote investment in green and sustainable tourism accommodation and to stimulate re-employment, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

The collaboration between UNWTO and Destination Capital is based on DC’s adoption of best practices aimed at reducing carbon emissions and operating hotels in a manner consistent with IFC’s environmental and social criteria. Against this backdrop, DC acquires and repositions freehold hotels of 150-250 rooms in Thailand and across South-East Asia with the aim of implementing sustainable water and energy systems. It also works to promote gender equality at every level of the hospitality sector, another of UNWTO’s core priorities and in line with Sustainable Development Goal number 5.

While governments and destinations around the world are working on vaccination programs to accelerate the restart of the tourism, UNWTO is working with the private sector to encourage employers to play their part in the recovery of local communities through job creation and training programs. UNWTO data shows that international tourism arrivals fell by 1 billion in 2020, with the crisis carrying over into 2021. Worldwide, this has placed as many as 120 million tourism jobs directly at risk. Moreover, Asia and the Pacific has been the worst-affected of all global regions, and young workers and women are among the hardest hit by the downturn in tourism employment.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

In line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, DC recognizes the hotel industry not only has a responsibility to re-hire and re-train hotel staff. It is also increasingly under pressure to reduce its carbon footprint and mitigate the impact of energy and water consumption as well as food waste and environmental degradation. DC is committed to retrofitting its hotels to be compliant as ‘green hotel’s as per the Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) standards established by IFC.

About Destination Capital
Destination Capital is a private equity real estate investment company based in Bangkok Thailand which focuses on acquiring, renovating and repositioning hotel assets such that they are EDGE compliant and follow a rigorous sustainability protocol in order to unlock value for our capital partners. Rigorous asset manage programs are in place to yield higher values upon exit while pursuing a “Triple Bottom Line” strategy: Planet, People, Profit.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO: International Travel Largely on Hold Despite Uptick in May

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UNWTO: International Travel Largely on Hold Despite Uptick in May - TRAVELINDEXMadrid, Spain, July 22, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The biggest crisis in the history of tourism continues into a second year. Between January and May, international tourist arrivals were 85% below 2019 levels (or a 65% drop on 2020), UNWTO data shows. Despite a small uptick in May, the emergence of COVID-19 variants and the continued imposition of restrictions are weighing on the recovery of international travel. Meanwhile, domestic tourism continues to rebound in many parts of the world.

The latest UNWTO data shows that over the first five months of the year, world destinations recorded 147 million fewer international arrivals (overnight visitors) compared to the same period of 2020, or 460 million less than pre-pandemic year of 2019. However, the data does point to a relatively small upturn in May, with arrivals declining by 82% (versus May 2019), after falling by 86% in April. This slight upward trend emerged as some destinations started to ease restrictions and consumer confidence rose slightly.

Accelerating the pace of vaccination worldwide, working on effective coordination and communication on ever changing travel restrictions while advancing digital tools to facilitate mobility will be critical to rebuild trust in travel and restart tourism

Rebuild trust to restart tourism

“Accelerating the pace of vaccination worldwide, working on effective coordination and communication on ever changing travel restrictions while advancing digital tools to facilitate mobility will be critical to rebuild trust in travel and restart tourism” says UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.

By regions, Asia and the Pacific continued to suffer the largest decline with a 95% drop in international arrivals in the first five months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2019. Europe (-85%) recorded the second largest decline in arrivals, followed by the Middle East (-83%) and Africa (-81%). The Americas (-72%) saw a comparatively smaller decrease. In June, the number of destinations with complete closure of borders decreased to 63, from 69 in February. Of these, 33 were in Asia and the Pacific, while just seven in Europe, the region with the fewest restrictions on travel currently in place.

By subregions, the Caribbean (-60%) recorded the best relative performance through May 2021. Growing travel from the United States has benefitted destinations in the Caribbean and Central America, as well as Mexico. Western Europe, Southern and Mediterranean Europe, South America and Central America saw slightly better results in May than in April.

Mixed outlook for remainder of 2021

International tourism is slowly picking up, though recovery remains very fragile and uneven. Rising concerns over the Delta variant of the virus have led several countries to reimpose restrictive measures. In addition, the volatility and lack of clear information on entry requirements could continue to weigh on the resumption of international travel during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer season. However, vaccination programmes around the world, together with softer restrictions for vaccinated travellers and the use of digital tools such as the EU Digital COVID Certificate, are all contributing to the gradual normalization of travel.

In addition, domestic travel is driving the recovery in many destinations, especially those with large domestic markets. Domestic air seat capacity in China and Russia has already exceeded pre-crisis levels, while domestic travel in the United States is strengthening further.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

City Leaders from Around the World Meet to Re-Imagine Urban Tourism

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City Leaders from Around the World Meet to Re-Imagine Urban Tourism

Porto, Portugal, July 14, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The mayors of some of the world’s leading destinations have met in Porto to rethink urban tourism in the post-pandemic age. Organized by UNWTO, the Government of Portugal, Turismo de Portugal and the City of Porto, the Mayors Forum on Tourism and the Future of Cities highlighted the opportunity to restart urban tourism with a focus on sustainability, innovation and inclusion.

Formed in April 2019, the Mayors Forum provides a unique platform for cities and other key players to share tourism policies and best practices. The international forum works to advance tourism’s role in the urban agenda and harness the potential of the sector to provide economic opportunity and promote cultural links. The Porto meeting was embraced as a chance to rethink urban tourism and keep delivering on its proven potential to benefit both residents and tourists.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

Return of tourists ‘brings hope for cities’

The return of tourists to cities around the world will bring more than just jobs and economic recovery

Urban tourism has been among the hardest hit parts of the sector and may be the last to recover. For this reason, “the return of tourists to cities around the world will bring more than just jobs and economic recovery”, said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. “It will bring hope, confidence and help revive what makes urban life so exciting, from culture to gastronomy to entrepreneurship and new ideas.” In this context, the Secretary-General also commended Portugal’s National Support Plan for Tourism recovery as well as its recently launched Sustainability + Strategy.

Pedro Siza Vieira, Minister of State, Economy and Digital Transition of Portugal said: “Now is the time to reflect on how important management of flows of tourists is in our cities. Digital technologies and continued investments in new attractions will allow us to provide a better experience for the millions of people who are eager to resume travel and who will come to visit our cities in the future.”

As host of the Forum, the Mayor of Porto Rui Moreira said: “Cities must know how to transform themselves, turning the old into new, rehabilitating and promoting their heritage, material and immaterial, and simultaneously creating new poles of interest to serve and welcome residents and visitors.”

Organized by UNWTO, the Government of Portugal, Turismo de Portugal and the City of Porto the Forum welcomed mayors and vice-mayors from Athens, Belgrade, Braga, Bruges, Brussels, Budapest, Dubrovnik, Florence, Madrid, Moscow, Podgorica, Prague, Samarkand, Sao Vicente, Skiathos, Tirana and Venice. Joining them were leaders from UN Habitat, the European Committee of the Regions and the Unión Ciudades Capitales Iberoamericanas (UCCI), as well as representatives from key private sector stakeholders, including Expedia Group, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and Airbnb.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

Porto Declaration on Future of Cities

Participants adopted the Porto Declaration on Tourism and the Future of Cities, which reaffirms cities’ commitment to growing tourism sustainably and responsibly. This includes placing tourism on the urban recovery agenda, with policies aligned with the United Nations New Urban Agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Declaration also states that signatory cities will promote multi-stakeholder cooperation for fostering innovation and using digitalization and big data to enhance both the tourist experience and the sector’s positive impact on residents. Furthermore, the Declaration recognizes the importance of cities building bridges with rural areas so that the benefits of tourism are employed more widely.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO: Tourism Takes Action on Plastic Waste and Pollution

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UNWTO: Tourism Takes Action on Plastic Waste and Pollution

Madrid, Spain, July 13, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Tourism businesses and destinations are stepping up their commitment to sustainability. Aimed at reducing waste and pollution across the sector, the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative (GTPI) is welcoming 32 new signatories, with every global region represented behind the shared goal.

The Initiative unites the tourism sector behind a common vision to address the root causes of plastic pollution. It enables businesses, governments and other tourism stakeholders to lead by example in the shift towards a circular economy of plastics. Among the 32 new signatories  are organizations such as TUI Group, AC Hotels by Marriott, Palladium Hotel Group, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, Hostelling International, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association  and Visit Valencia. These new additions bring the total number of signatories up to 93 companies and organizations. These include organizations from stages of the tourism value chain, including accommodation providers, tour operators, online platforms, suppliers, waste managers and supporting organizations.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

Andreas Vermöhlen, Manager for Sustainability, Circular Economy and Sustainable Development at TUI Group said: “Together we can make important steps towards less unnecessary single-use plastic in the world and shift towards a circular economy.”

Addressing plastic pollution is essential to sustainably restart tourism, preserve destinations and contribute to climate action

To mark the confirmation of the new signatories, UNWTO and the United Nations Environment Programme, in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, held a special  panel discussion with the theme Eliminate. Innovate. Circulate. Strategies from the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative. Participants included Accor Group, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Palladium Hotel Group, Chumbe Island Coral Park and the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.

Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General said: “Addressing plastic pollution is essential to sustainably restart tourism, preserve destinations and contribute to climate action. We are proud to see the number of signatories growing continuously since the launch of the initiative.”

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

Alongside this, a keynote presentation on “A Life Cycle Approach – Key messages for tourism businesses” further highlighted the aims of the GTPI, with a special focus on innovation and the importance of context-based approaches to ensure plastics are circulated back into the economy rather than thrown away after use.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO: Digital Tools to Revitalize Tourism

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UNWTO: Digital Tools to Revitalize Tourism

Porto, Portugal, July 10, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) continues to energize the restart of tourism based on sustainability and innovation. An agreement with MUST Travel & Tech places a digital tool at the service of tourism, allowing users to share their experiences to promote the reactivation of the sector with a view to sustainability. Presented during the UNWTO Mayors’ Forum in Porto, Portugal, the tool is an opportunity for the advancement of smart cities, as well as destinations that incorporate technology and innovation in their development.

Already operating in 60 countries, MUST aggregates all the information of interest to travellers in one place. By also integrating key information and analysis from UNWTO, it aims to become a leading tourism application and generate opportunities for destinations.

Technology at the service of development

We welcome innovative ideas and technologies that allow the creation of global and regional innovation ecosystems aimed at accelerating the recovery of tourism for development

Visibility provided through technological tools is an opportunity for those who, along the entire value chain of the sector, require support to restart their activity, from new destinations around rural communities, to destinations with a high degree of infrastructure development.

“We welcome innovative ideas and technologies that allow the creation of global and regional innovation ecosystems aimed at accelerating the recovery of tourism for development,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili upon signing the agreement.

For his part, the CEO of MUST, Pablo López, highlighted that “technology enhances the productivity and resilience of companies. The implementation of digital solutions in line with new trends in the tourism sector allows us to develop a differentiated, personalized and safe tourism product that is more focused on behaviour patterns and the management of spaces that will undoubtedly contribute to the recovery of a key activity for the economy in general”.

Shared objectives

A distinctive element will be the contribution of tourism intelligence from the UNWTO to the users of the tool. In this way, relevant and verified content is combined with data for making informed and evidence-based decisions.

The agreement provides for cooperation in the execution of projects that include, among others:

  • Supporting the digital transformation of tourism service providers.
  • Fostering tourism development and promotion in a sustainable and inclusive way.
  • Boosting innovation in the practices of reservation and consumption of tourism experiences and activities.
  • Encouraging the creation of quality content with a focus on cultural heritage and the authenticity of the destination to be promoted.
  • Promoting and disseminate the UNWTO “Best Tourism Villages” programme on the MUST platform as well as other programmes or events of the Organization.
  • Promoting programmes related to innovation, education and investments that are useful for tourism destinations of mutual interest.

The agreement between UNWTO and MUST will be in place until the end of 2024.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO: Vaccines and Digital Solutions to Ease Travel Restrictions

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UNWTO: Vaccines and Digital Solutions to Ease Travel Restrictions

Madrid, Spain, July 7, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The global vaccination rollout and increased adoption of digital solutions for safe travel should lead to a rise in international mobility over the weeks and months ahead, the latest data from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) indicates.

According to the newest edition of the Travel Restrictions Report from the United Nations specialized agency for tourism, as of 1 June, 29% of all destinations worldwide have their borders completely closed to international tourism. Of these, more than half have been completely closed to tourists for since May 2020 or longer, with the majority of these belonging to the Small Island Development States of Asia and the Pacific. In comparison, just three destinations (Albania, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic) are completely open to tourists, with no restrictions now in place.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

Evidence-based measures and cooperation

Governments are instrumental for the restart and recovery of tourism through collaboration, use of data and digital solutions

One in three (34%) of all destinations are partially closed, and 36% request a negative COVID-19 test result upon arrival, in some cases in combination with a requirement to quarantine. The data confirms the trend towards destinations adopting more nuanced, evidence-and-risk-based approaches to restrictions on travel, particularly in light of the evolving epidemiological situation and the emergence of new variants of the virus. Indeed, 42% of all destinations have introduced specific restrictions for visitors from destinations with variants of concern ranging from the suspension of flights and closing of borders to compulsory quarantine.

Additionally, since most of those destinations with the strictest measures have some of the lowest rates of vaccination, the data also indicates a link between vaccination speed and easing of restrictions. In comparison, those destinations that have higher rates of vaccination and where countries are able to work together on harmonized rules and protocols such as those being employed in the Schengen area of the European Union, are better-placed to allow tourism to slowly return.

“Governments are instrumental for the restart and recovery of tourism through collaboration, use of data and digital solutions”, says UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili:

Different paces

Regional differences with regards to travel restrictions remain. 70% of all destinations in Asia and the Pacific are completely closed, compared with just 13% in Europe, as well as 20% in the Americas, 19% in Africa and 31% in the Middle East.

Assessing current requirements for vaccinated passengers, 17% of all destinations worldwide specifically mention vaccinated passengers in their regulations. In most cases, travel restrictions continue to apply to fully vaccinated passengers (who have received two doses of an approved vaccine), though in others, all restrictions are lifted. UNWTO expects that this will significantly evolve over the coming weeks.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

The report indicates that the restart of global tourism will remain muted so long as governments continue to advise caution. Four of the 10 top source markets keep advising their citizens against non-essential travel abroad (these four generated 25% of all international arrivals in 2018).

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Wine Tourism and Rural Development Discussed in Portugal in September 2021

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Wine Tourism and Rural Development Discussed in Portugal in September 2021

Lisbon, Portugal, July 6, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Visit Portugal and the city of Reguengos de Monsaraz announce dates for the 5th UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism.

Discover Portugal’s Best Fine Vineyards at Top25Vineyards.com here.

Following the success of the past four editions, the Conference will take place on 9-10 September 2021, in Reguengos de Monsaraz in the Alentejo region, in collaboration with the Government of Portugal.

Held under the theme ‘Wine Tourism – a driver for rural development’ in a hybrid format to welcome delegates from all around the world, the Conference will focus on the contribution of wine tourism to social and economic regional integration and its great potential to generate development opportunities in rural destinations.

I thank Portugal’s support to accelerate the recovery of the sector

UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili says: “It is now more important than ever to support wine tourism and I am confident that this event will represent a unique opportunity to share experiences that face up these challenging times and place the two sectors at the center of recovery, particularly for the benefit of rural communities. I thank Portugal’s support to accelerate the recovery of the sector.”

The Minister of State, Economy and Digital Transition, Pedro Siza Vieira, aims to position the country “As one of the top destinations in wine tourism, which is a main strategic asset for Portugal due to its ability to attract a highly qualified tourist with high purchasing power, allowing for multiple attraction anchors throughout the territory and throughout the year, thus contributing to territorial cohesion and reducing seasonality. Wine tourism’s development in central in the Recovery Plan (Reactivate Tourism | Build the Future) for the Tourism sector but the dynamization of this product also has a specific and dedicated action plan. The aforementioned Plan will contribute to the enhancement of wine tourism, wine itself and will be a very important contribution to creating more value and employment in these regions.

Discover Portugal’s Best Fine Vineyards at Top25Vineyards.com here.

Mayor off the Municipality of Reguengos de Monsaraz, José Calixto, says: “Welcome everyone to one of the richest wine regions in Portugal! Reguengos de Monsaraz and Alentejo are a territory experienced and felt by Man for over 9,000 years. We are valued by a unique intangible heritage, very hospitable people, high quality wines that are part of our identity and several excellent wine tourism activities, allow unforgettable experiences. We would like to share them with you!”.

Since 2016, the Conference has highlighted the importance of wine tourism to the socio-economic development of destinations and has served as a platform to exchange experiences, identify good practices and promote wine tourism as a tool for sustainable development.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO in Mexico to Build on Historic Support for Tourism

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UNWTO in Mexico to Build on Historic Support for Tourism

Mexico City, Mexico, July 5, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has embarked on a first official visit to Mexico. The visit of the high-level delegation further emphasises the unprecedented level of political support for tourism across the Americas as governments recognize the sector’s unique ability to drive economic and social recovery.

Meeting with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili commended his leadership from the very start of the pandemic. This included ensuring that Mexico continued to welcome international flights, safely and responsibly, and providing practical assistance for businesses and workers across the broad tourism sector. President López Obrador was officially recognized by UNWTO for his support of tourism and for leading by example at this critical time.

The UNWTO delegation also met with Mexico’s Secretary for Tourism Miguel Torruco Marqués to discuss the restart of tourism both in Mexico and across the wider region. At the National Palace, Secretary-General Pololikashvili accepted the government’s invitation to the official opening of the new “General Felipe Ángeles” International Airport, currently scheduled for March 2022.

Mexico has led the way in supporting tourism, politically and practically, through an unprecedented crisis

Mr Pololikashvili says: “Mexico has led the way in supporting tourism, politically and practically, through an unprecedented crisis. Under the leadership of President López Obrador, it is ready to restart tourism and put into action the commitments of UNWTO’s Punta Cana Declaration for inclusive and sustainable tourism.”

Guiding regional recovery

The official visit to Mexico forms part of UNWTO’s wider support for its Member States in the Americas. Mexico was among the states to attend an extraordinary Ministerial meeting of the Americas. Here, with the signing of the Punta Cana Declaration, the region’s tourism leaders committed to placing inclusivity at the heart of tourism’s restart, ensuring that the sector delivers benefits and opportunities for all.

This shared commitment was also in evidence as UNWTO’s Regional Commission for the Americas met last week (24 June). Hosted by Jamaica, and chaired by the country’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, the meeting highlighted the unprecedented political support now enjoyed by the sector, with 23 of the 24 regional Members represented, alongside six international and regional organizations. Discussions centred on the practical steps UNWTO is taking to guide the restart of tourism, and participants praised the tourism intelligence generated by UNWTO as “one of several laudable initiatives to assist Member States to navigate the choppy waters of pandemic and post-pandemic tourism slump and recovery”.

Elections and nominations

The meeting concluded with elections and nominations for positions within several UNWTO bodies, again showing a shared determination to move ahead even in challenging times.  Argentina, Brazil and the Dominican Republic were nominated to represent the Americas in the UNWTO Executive Council. Paraguay and Uruguay were nominated as Vice-Presidents of the General Assembly, and Guatemala and Jamaica were nominated to serve as members of the Credentials Committee. Paraguay was also nominated to serve as Chair of the UNWTO Commission for the Americas, while Uruguay and Barbados were nominated for its two Vice-Chair positions. Uruguay was elected to host the next UNWTO Commission for the Americas.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Global Economy Could Lose Over $4 Trillion Due to COVID-19

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Global Economy Could Lose Over $4 Trillion Due to COVID-19

Madrid, Spain, June 30, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Economic losses are mounting in developing countries due to the absence of widespread COVID-19 vaccinations. The crash in international tourism due to the coronavirus pandemic could cause a loss of more than $4 trillion to the global GDP for the years 2020 and 2021, according to an UNCTAD report published on 30 June.

The estimated loss has been caused by the pandemic’s direct impact on tourism and its ripple effect on other sectors closely linked to it.

The report, jointly presented with the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), says international tourism and its closely linked sectors suffered an estimated loss of $2.4 trillion in 2020 due to direct and indirect impacts of a steep drop in international tourist arrivals.

A similar loss may occur this year, the report warns, noting that the tourism sector’s recovery will largely depend on the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines globally.

“The world needs a global vaccination effort that will protect workers, mitigate adverse social effects and make strategic decisions regarding tourism, taking potential structural changes into account,” UNCTAD Acting Secretary-General Isabelle Durant said.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Tourism is a lifeline for millions, and advancing vaccination to protect communities and support tourism’s safe restart is critical to the recovery of jobs and generation of much-needed resources, especially in developing countries, many of which are highly dependent on international tourism.”

Developing countries hurt by vaccine inequity

With COVID-19 vaccinations being more pronounced in some countries than others, the report says, tourism losses are reduced in most developed countries but worsened in developing countries.

Tourism is a lifeline for millions, and advancing vaccination to protect communities and support tourism’s safe restart is critical to the recovery of jobs and generation of much-needed resources, especially in developing countries, many of which are highly dependent on international tourism

COVID-19 vaccination rates are uneven across countries, ranging from below 1% of the population in some countries to above 60% in others.

According to the report, the asymmetric roll-out of vaccines magnifies the economic blow tourism has suffered in developing countries, as they could account for up to 60% of the global GDP losses.

The tourism sector is expected to recover faster in countries with high vaccination rates, such as France, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, the report says.

But experts don’t expect a return to pre-COVID-19 international tourist arrival levels until 2023 or later, according to UNWTO.

The main barriers are travel restrictions, slow containment of the virus, low traveller confidence and a poor economic environment.

Up to $1.8 trillion loss expected in 2021

A rebound in international tourism is expected in the second half of this year, but the UNCTAD report still shows a loss of between $1.7 trillion and $2.4 trillion in 2021, compared with 2019 levels.

The results are based on simulations that capture the effects of international tourism reduction only, not policies such as economic stimulus programmes that may soften the pandemic’s impact on the sector.

The report assesses the economic effects of three possible scenarios – all reflecting reductions in international arrivals – in the tourism sector in 2021.

Figure 1: As tourism falls world GDP takes a hit in 2021 (3 alternative scenarios)

The first one, projected by UNWTO, reflects a reduction of 75% in international tourist arrivals – the most pessimistic forecast – based on the tourist reductions observed in 2020.

In this scenario, a drop in global tourist receipts of $948 billion causes a loss in real GDP of $2.4 trillion, a two-and-a-half-fold increase. This ratio varies greatly across countries, from onefold to threefold or fourfold.

This is a multiplier and depends on the backward linkages in the tourism sector, including the unemployment of unskilled labour, according to the report.

For example, international tourism contributes about 5% of the GDP in Turkey and the country suffered a 69% fall in international tourists in 2020.

The country’s fall in tourism demand is estimated at $33 billion and this leads to losses in closely linked sectors such as food, beverages, retail trade, communications and transport.

Turkey’s total fall in output is $93 billion, about three times the initial shock. The decline in tourism alone contributes to a real GDP loss of about 9%. This decline in reality was partly offset by fiscal measures to stimulate the economy.

Figure 2: Estimated losses in GDP by region from reduction in tourism (percentage)

The second scenario reflects a 63% reduction in international tourist arrivals, a less pessimistic forecast by UNWTO.

And the third scenario, formulated by UNCTAD, considers varying rates of domestic and regional tourism in 2021.

It assumes a 75% reduction of tourism in countries with low vaccination rates, and a 37% reduction in countries with relatively high vaccination rates, mostly developed countries and some smaller economies.

Job losses across countries

According to the report, the reduction in tourism causes a 5.5% rise in unemployment of unskilled labour on average, with a high variance of 0% to 15%, depending on the importance of tourism for the economy.

Labour accounts for around 30% of tourist services’ expenditure in both developed and developing economies. Entry barriers in the sector, which employs many women and young employees, are relatively low.

Losses worse than previously expected

In July last year, UNCTAD estimated that a four- to 12-month standstill in international tourism would cost the global economy between $1.2 trillion and $3.3 trillion, including indirect costs.

But the losses are worse than previously expected, as even the worst-case scenario UNCTAD projected last year has turned out to be optimistic, with international travel still low more than 15 months after the pandemic started.

According to UNWTO, international tourist arrivals declined by about 1 billion or 73% between January and December 2020. In the first quarter of 2021, the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer points to a decline of 84%.

Figure 3: International tourist arrivals (in thousands)

Developing countries have borne the biggest brunt of the pandemic’s impact on tourism. They suffered the largest reductions in tourist arrivals in 2020, estimated at between 60% and 80%.

The most-affected regions are North-East Asia, South-East Asia, Oceania, North Africa and South Asia, while the least-affected ones are North America, Western Europe and the Caribbean.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO Supports Zimbabwe to Measure Value of Tourism

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UNWTO Supports Zimbabwe to Measure Value of Tourism

Harare, Zimbabwe, June 24, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / UNWTO commits to work with the Government of Zimbabwe to measure the importance of tourism for the country’s economy.

Zimbabwe has identified tourism as a central pillar of its National Development Strategy, (NDS 1, 2021-2025). To reflect this, UNWTO is now working with the government on the development of the country’s first Tourism Satellite Account (TSA). The TSA will measure tourism’s contribution to Zimbabwe’s GDP, as well as its size relative to other sectors, and the number of jobs it generates. It will also allow the government to measure the value of public and private investment related to the sector and the effect of international tourism on the country’s balance of payments.

Mr Munesu Munodawafa, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, said, “As we continue to invest in the recovery and re-development of tourism across Zimbabwe, we must be able to accurately measure the importance of tourism to the country’s economy. The development of the TSA is one of the key milestones for the sector under the NDS1 (2021-2025).  This tool is critical to aid Government’s decision making and evidence-based policy formulation for a sustainable and resilient tourism sector post COVID-19.”

Elcia Grandcourt, UNWTO Director for Africa said, “We are delighted to work again with Zimbabwe in this important endeavour. We are committed to supporting the government in providing clear data that can help guide key decisions for tourism’s recovery and growth.”

The initiative forms part of the four-year Zimbabwe Destination Development Program, a technical assistance initiative supported by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group. It is being delivered by the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, and sponsored by the Government of Japan. The program supports the recovery of Zimbabwe’s tourism industry and aims to safeguard thousands of jobs amid a sharp decline in travel caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News